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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

Watch the entire Cassini mission image catalog as a movie

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2015 • 2

If you were to download the entire catalog of photos taken at Saturn to date by Cassini and then animate them like a flipbook, how long would it take to watch them all pass by? The Wall Street Journal's Visual Correspondent Jon Keegan has your answer: nearly four hours.

Filling in the Enceladus map: Cassini's 20th flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2015 • 7

A couple of days ago, Cassini flew past Enceladus for its 20th targeted encounter. Cassini has seen and photographed quite a lot of Enceladus before, but there's still new terrain for it to cover.

What's up in solar system exploration: August 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2015 • 5

I'm back from two weeks' vacation, so it's time to catch up on the status of all our intrepid planetary missions, from Akatsuki to the Voyagers and hitting the Moon, Mars, asteroids, comets, and Saturn in between.

Looking back at Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2015 • 17

I don't think anyone was prepared for the beauty -- or the instant scientific discoveries -- in this "lookback" image of Pluto, captured by New Horizons shortly after it flew by.

The not-planets

Emily Lakdawalla • July 14, 2015 • 38

Now that I have a reasonable-resolution global color view of Pluto, I can drop it into one of my trademark scale image montages, to show you how it fits in with the rest of the similar-sized worlds in the solar system: the major moons and the biggest asteroids.

A few gems from the latest Cassini image data release

Emily Lakdawalla • April 24, 2015 • 4

I checked out the latest public image release from Cassini and found an awesome panorama across Saturn's rings, as well as some pretty views looking over Titan's north pole.

Pretty Cassini pictures: animation of Iapetus' north pole, and other fun

Emily Lakdawalla • April 03, 2015 • 4

Now that Cassini has returned to Saturn's equatorial plane, it has lots of opportunities to observe Saturn's moons. For about a week, Cassini has been taking regular sets of images of Iapetus, which I've assembled into an animation.

Prometheus, Pandora, and the braided F ring in motion

Emily Lakdawalla • March 23, 2015

Cassini recently took a long, high-resolution movie of the F ring, catching a view of its ringlets, clumps, and streamers, and two potato-shaped moons, Prometheus and Pandora.

Cassini begins a year of icy moon encounters with a flyby of Rhea

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2015 • 5

At last! Cassini is orbiting in Saturn's ring plane again. I do enjoy the dramatic photographs of Saturn's open ring system that Cassini can get from an inclined orbit, and we won't be getting those again for another year. But with an orbit close to the ring plane, Cassini can repeatedly encounter Saturn's icy moons, and icy moon flybys are my favorite thing about the Cassini mission.

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